Citizen Lab’s Guelmim Oued Noun Regional Conference

On January 15th, 2022 and within the programming of the Citizen Lab Project, Association Jeunesse Tamdoult in partnership with USAID hosted the third regional conference in the Associative Space in Guelmim.

The Guelmim Oued Noun regional conference was the last of the 3 regional conferences in the Citizen Lab project.

The conference sought to enhance the dynamic between various actors, most notably the elected representative and partner civil society organizations from 3 Communes. We aimed to create a space to exchange on best practices within the framework of public consultation to reach consensus between the various actors on possible and appropriate institutional approaches to organize public debate and consultation within the target territorial communes.

The event saw an interactive workshop with the participation of elected representatives and partner CSOs where they relied on their experience and expertise to propose, develop and improve on different approaches to institutionalizing public debate and collaboration.

The conference saw the attendance and registration of 48 participants, representing 3 communes where the Citizen Lab project operates within the Guelmim Oued Noun Region.

The Guelmim Ouad Noun Regional conference was inaugurated with opening speeches from central project stakeholders in the region; Mr. Abdellah Aslaouy, President of AJTCD, Mrs. Saadia Bouhrochan, Vice-President of the Committee in charge of Culture, Sports and Civil Society of Guelmim Municipality, Mr. Mohamed Lkaitouf, General Secretary of the Forum of Competences in Guelmim, on behalf of the 3 regional Partner Civil Society Organization and Mr. Abdelkarim Naji, Representative of the National Agency for the Promotion of Employment and Competencies in Guelmim.

After that, Mr. Omar Aassou, AJTCD’s Executive Director, has presented the platform as a digital mediator tool between citizens and their elected councils.

Presented by Professor Khalid Bahali, Head of the Research Group: Public Territorial Action, Social transformations, and Governance, the keynote address under the title of “Institutionalizing public consultation and territorial democracy” sought to cover the following axes; The transformation taking place in urban territorial development; The functional role of Civil Society Organizations; The transformation of the trajectory of territorial decentralization; Elevating local issues and active involvement of Civil Society Organizations in solving them and Public Consultation as a component of participative democracy.

Led by Professor Abdelkader El Khadiri, President of the Moroccan Center for Studies and Research in Territorial Development, and in line with the general context of the public consultation process and the networking dynamism, a discussion workshop about “What are the practical approaches and steps for creating, managing and sustaining civic spaces?” sought to explore and discuss different approaches and practical steps for creating, managing and sustaining the Civil Society Consultative Spaces, finding intersection points between the project goals and the keynote address. The discussion saw the participants and project stakeholders share experiences and raise problems around the theme of participation in public spaces. Most notably explore the approach and practical tools for effective consultation and creation and management of the Civil Society Consultative Spaces.

For reference, the Citizen Lab project, which is being implemented in partnership with the USAID, targets civil society activists, especially youth, women, people with disabilities, and members of elected councils in 23 local communities in 3 main regions; Souss Massa, Draa Tafilalet and Guelmim Oued Noun.

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